Friday, March 4, 2011

Blood sugar imbalance and Diabetes

 Blood sugar imbalance and Diabetes are very serious health issues in South Africa today. But what is terribly shocking is that a large part of the population still does not know very much at all about these two issues that can change your life forever. Florence Niemann from The Fountainhead Health Products has put together some information and tips about blood sugar imbalance and Diabetes and I thought you might find what she has said interesting:  

Blood sugar imbalance is a condition in which your body does not handle glucose effectively. Throughout the day blood glucose levels may fluctuate outside of the bodies desired blood glucose range. Swinging from being very high after a meal, stimulant or stress, to being very low, say if you skipped breakfast. Insulin is a hormone responsible for keeping the blood sugar levels between the normal desired range. Insulin works by opening channels on cell membranes allowing glucose to travel from the blood into body cells. During times of blood sugar imbalance insulin is a little out of control.

Symptoms you may experience include: Need more than 8 hours sleep
Feeling thirsty
Need coffee or tea to get you going
Frequent urination going in the morning and then
Heavy sweating regularly during the day
Mood swings
Cravings for sweet foods
Energy dips

One important factor in getting blood sugar back in balance is to eat a diet based of foods which give a controlled release of sugar into the body.  The speed and extent of which food increases blood sugar can be quantified using the Glycaemic Index Scale. Here the speed and extent of a food’s sugar release into the bloodstream is compared with glucose which is given a value of 100.

*Blood sugar imbalance can be a precursor to diabetes mellitus and it is therefore important to address the contributory factors before the condition develops further.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing serious diseases around the world. Left unchecked, it can have serious if not deadly consequences. People with Type II diabetes are at high risk of experiencing vision and kidney problems, heart disease and nerve damage. The only good news is that lifestyle changes can prevent and even cure type II diabetes.

While usually a life-long condition in which either the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot use the insulin it produces; Diabetes may be caused by incorrect living. Your body needs insulin to change the sugar from food into energy. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body's cells are unable to function properly.

Type 2 develops from lifestyle issues. Dr Oz says "Diabetics often have a lot of belly fat and the like, and they have enough insulin, but it's not listening anymore because the belly fat has poisoned the ability of insulin to work, so the sugar is still floating around in the blood stream because it can't find a partner to get into your tissues."


  • High blood pressure
  • High blood triglyceride (fat) levels
  • Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • High-fat diet
  • High alcohol intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Smoking which affects the pancreas
  • Yellow finger nails may be a warning sign of diabetes
  • Ethnicity: Certain groups, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and Japanese Americans, have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
  • Aging: Increasing age is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes begins to rise significantly at about age 45 years, and rises considerably after age 65 years.

* According to Traditional Chinese Medicine other factors that can contribute to diabetes are:

·        Overeating hot, spicy, greasy, fatty, thick flavoured foods,
·        Hot drinks such as tea and coffee, and alcohol
·        Liver and stomach heat causing an abnormal rise in appetite.
·        Spleen deficiency can be caused by overeating too much sugar, sweets, carbohydrates, and fatty foods.
·        Emotional disturbances such as stress, anxiety, depression.

Symptoms of Diabetes:
Polyuria: Passing of too much urine, or frequent urination.
Weight loss (type I)
- often present in diabetes. But other disorders can also result in tiredness. So, this alone is not sufficient.
Unrelenting hunger
Itching of the genitals and skin
Visual disturbances (such as blurry vision)
Skin disorders (for example, boils)
Pain and/or numbness of the extremities
Slow healing sores or cuts
Itching skin (groin/vaginal area)
Yeast infection
Recent Weight Gain (type II)

You can prevent type 2 diabetes by making some simple lifestyle changes, which include healthy eating, keeping your blood sugar levels in line, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Dr Oz says “most diabetes is preventable, it is treatable, even reversible."

Diabetes and Glycaemic IndexFor years, researchers have tried to determine what causes blood sugar levels after meals to soar too high in those with diabetes. Potential culprits have included sugar, carbohydrates, and starches, among other foods. The glycaemic index is a ranking that attempts to measure the influence that each particular food has on blood sugar levels. It takes into account the type of carbohydrates in a meal and its effect on blood sugar.

Foods that are low on the glycaemic index appear to have less of an impact on blood sugar levels after meals.

People who eat a lot of low glycaemic index foods tend to have lower total body fat levels. High glycemic index foods generally make blood sugar levels higher. People who eat a lot of high glycaemic index foods often have higher levels of body fat, as measured by the body mass index (BMI).

·        Be sure to eat a wide variety of foods. Having a colourful plate is the best way to ensure that you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, meats, and other forms of protein such as nuts, dairy
         products, and grains/cereals.
·        Eat the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight.
·        Choose foods high in fiber such as whole grain breads, fruit, and cereal. They contain important vitamins and minerals.

Some important agents in blood sugar control are B3 (in the form of niacin), magnesium and the herb Gymnema sylvestre (400mg per day).  Many of the complications of diabetes are glycosylation. Here sugar binds to protein molecules in the body, thereby damaging them. Vitamins C (1g two to three times daily), E (400-800ius per day)  and B6 950-100mg per day) are all known to inhibit glycosylation, and may therefore help prevent diabetic complications in the long term.

Five Ways to Lower your GI of your meals
·        Mix high-GI foods with low-GI foods – research shows that a high-GI food combined with a low-GI food of the same carbohydrate quantity will result in an intermediate GI for the overall meal.
·        Eat protein with your carbohydrates – high-protein foods, such as lean meat, chicken and fish, tend to slow the rate at which a meal is digested and therefore lower the GI of the overall meal.
·        Choose vegetables first – all too often we base our meals around the carbohydrate-rich food, such as pasta, potatoes or rice. Instead, first plan your meal around the vegetables you hope to use,
         then around the protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish or pulses, and then the carbohydrate-rich food. This will automatically help to lower the GI of a meal.
·        Use beans and pulses as often as possible – try puréeing them to make sauces, cooking them in stews, serving them with fresh herbs as side dishes, adding them to salads, making them into dips
         or using mashed beans or lentils instead of mashed potatoes.

·        Keep cooking times to a minimum – cooked foods often have a higher GI than uncooked foods, so make sure your pasta is al dente and your vegetables are cooked for the shortest time possible.
         This will also help to retain more of their vitamins and minerals.

And remember that regular meals are essential to overcoming hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).

Because TCM defines diabetes as a disease characterized by Yin deficiency and excess internal heat, an example of a dietary prescription would be to consume spinach, which is cooling, “strengthens all the organs, lubricates the intestines, and promotes urination.” A recommendation might be to boil tea from spinach and drink 1 cup three times/day. Other foods considered to be cooling and beneficial for diabetes include vegetables and grains, such as celery, pumpkin, soybeans (i.e., tofu, soymilk), string beans, sweet potato/yam, turnips, tomato, wheat bran, and millet. Fruit remedies, which act in specific therapeutic ways, include crab apple, guava, plum, strawberry, and mulberry. It is generally recommended that patients eat a wide variety of seasonal foods and avoid or minimize consumption of sweets and fruits. Meals should be smaller, eaten more frequently, and eaten at regular times each day.

ExerciseFitness expert Bob Greene says physical activity can literally save the life of someone at risk for diabetes. "When it comes to diabetes, we know that if you simply get 30 minutes a day, your risk is lowered by 60 percent," he says. "Exercise is not negotiable."

·        Walk 30 minutes a day.
·        Start strength training. "This can be done with bands or weights. My favourite is dumbbells," he says. "Maintaining the muscles and the joints is so important in combating diabetes because it
         raises your metabolism."
·        Do something fun like dance classes or boxing.
·        Do something gentle and relaxing like yoga or tai chi.

Just as diabetics cannot integrate the sugar in food, so it may be hard for them to integrate or accept love.  Diabetes is particularly related to feeling either a lack or an over-abundance of sweetness in our lives.  This may be though loss or loneliness, children can develop diabetes at a time of parental conflict such as divorce or death, feeling the parent no longer loves them or they are the cause of death; or due to smothering and an excessively loving parent or partner.  Healing diabetes is therefore about loving ourselves, and finding a balance by developing the ability to both give and receive love.

Reflexology and Massage for Diabetes
Massage therapy and reflexology could be incorporated into relaxation therapy, but it also serves another purpose that can be particularly useful for diabetes sufferers. By skillfully kneading the body’s tissue, massage can stimulate better blood movement around the body. Improved circulation can do wonders for diabetic neuropathy and other diabetes-related complications.
Fountainhead Chi Detox PatchesAssists in increasing blood circulation and assists the body in detoxing.  Our clients have reported an easing of neuropathy, and lowered blood sugar whilst using our detox patches. Stimulates the meridians and reflexes whilst you sleep, how convenient!

Fountainhead Healing Bath SaltsBathing from time to time in Fountainhead’s Healing Bath Salts provides magnesium straight through the skin into the bloodstream by-passing the digestion and the same for the detoxing properties of sulphates, as the sulphates are in sulphate they thus can get straight to work. The ginger opens the pores, promotes perspiration, the rosemary is a tonic and the chamomile is skin soothing. What a way to get one’s minerals!

Fountainhead CardioFlowThis is a supplement with a whopping 500mg of pomegranate fruit and seed extract which is very high in ellagin anti-oxidants that are excellent for the skin, anti-ageing cardiovascular health, anti-cancer properties and ant-inflammtory properties and it is excellent for diabetics as it contains no sugar as with drinking the pomegranate juice.

The Fountainhead Whole Body TonicAn excellent blend of herbs and vitamins to cleanse the body, boost the immune system and provide vigour. Take in time of low immune system, fatigue, or convalescence.

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